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National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Pub. L. No. 104-113, 110 Stat. 775 (Mar. 7, 1996), codified at 15 U.S.C. §3701 et seq.
The Act directs federal agencies with respect to their use of and participation in the development of voluntary consensus standards. The NTTAA's objective is for federal agencies to adopt voluntary consensus standards, wherever possible, in lieu of creating proprietary, non-consensus standards.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is responsible under the law for coordinating "the use by Federal agencies of private sector standards, emphasizing where possible the use of standards developed by private, consensus organizations." Examples of such organizations are the Electronic Industries Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Information Technology Industry Council.
Traditionally, NIST has adopted commercially developed standards in Federal Information Processing Standards Publications (FIPS PUBs) for citation in Government specifications. Those who develop agency specifications must consider standards. The Act directs the NIST to bring together Federal agencies, as well as State and local governments, to achieve greater reliance on voluntary standards and decreased dependence on in-house standards.